Freescale Dual-Core Chip and the PowerBook

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Date: Monday, October 11th, 2004, 08:19
Category: Archive

An Apple With Two Cores?” at Forbes.com speculates that the Freescale chip’s power consumption is low enough, in the range of 15 to 25 watts, that it could be used inside a PowerBook.

While the chip Freescale described on Tuesday–which bears the arcane product name MPC8641D–probably isn’t going into a Mac anytime soon, there’s nothing stopping Freescale from adapting it and making a dual-core chip aimed at Apple’s flagship product, says Kevin Krewell, analyst with Instat/MDR, the market research outfit that hosted the Processor Forum event.
One important clue is that the chip supports the AltiVec, a set of chip instructions that set out how certain types of computing tasks are handled on the chip…
AltiVec instructions are crucial to the operation of modern Macs and have been ever since Apple released the first PowerMac G4 computers. The very fact that IBM–which had previously eschewed AltiVec on its PowerPC chips–even mentioned AltiVec in its Processor Forum presentation in 2002 (see: “IBM Remains Coy About Apple Chip”) was seen as a crucial clue that the IBM chip was being aimed at Apple.

Read the entire story at Forbes.com.

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PowerBook G4 Updates as Soon as This Week

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Date: Monday, October 11th, 2004, 08:22
Category: Archive

Mac OS Rumors is reporting that the speed-bumped PowerBook G4s could arrive “in a matter of weeks at most; quite possibly, a matter of days.” The PowerPage has not been able to confirm this updated timeframe although we have been talking about the speed-bump for quite a while. The MOSR piece claims it will pack a 200MHz frontside bus and a Radeon 9800 Mobility 128MB GPU.

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Editorial: iTunes Music Store Australia

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Date: Monday, October 11th, 2004, 07:48
Category: Archive

JaySee has posted an editorial about the state of the iTunes music store in countries outside of the USA & Europe, particularly focusing on Australia

Unfortunately for those of us that live here, Apple’s market share in Australia is pretty small. We’re talking maybe 5% of the worldwide operation. And as the runt of the litter, we often miss out on the cool stuff, like iPhoto book printing and now, the iTunes music store.

Read the whole story at ozimac.com.au.

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The Lighter Side of Politics

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Date: Friday, October 8th, 2004, 11:31
Category: Archive

JibJab Good to be in DCIn light of tonight’s second Presidential debate I thought I’d post this. The folks at JibJab have posted a funny new animated spoof of the candidates called “It’s Good to be in DC” that is a MUST WATCH. The hillarious shockwave animation is the sequel to their first (and equally hillarious) first effort: This Land.
The spoof is equally critical of both parties so flamers take a chill today, ok? It’s Friday.

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Don't Trash it, Freecycle it!

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Date: Friday, October 8th, 2004, 11:58
Category: Archive

Mobile technologists are known for their love of, well, gadgets. If you’re reading these pages odds are that you have either a drawer, closet or garage (or God help you – all three) full of various tech items that are collecting dust.
The problem is that you have an emotional attachment to the Whiz-Bang 2000 and can’t bear to throw it out, admitting that it isn’t quite as Whiz-Bang as you first thought. Another problem is that it isn’t worth squat on eBay either. Worse, electronics (especially computers and monitors) don’t belong in landfills due to the environmental consequences of heavy metals like mercury seeping into your drinking water. What is the gadget obsessed to do with all this working but unused crapola? Read more…

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ThinkSecret: 60GB iPod to Pack Photo-Viewing Features

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Date: Friday, October 8th, 2004, 08:02
Category: Archive

According to ThinkSecret: “After three years of being synonymous with “digital music player,” Apple’s iPod will widen its horizons and gain photo-viewing capabilities within the next 30 to 60 days.”

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Baked Apples, Part III: iPod Flambe

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Date: Friday, October 8th, 2004, 08:21
Category: Archive

Baked Apple (iPod)PowerPage regulars will remember our story from February 2003 about a woman who baked her PowerBook in the oven for 20 minutes, then our story in March about the burnt PowerBook for sale on eBay (since removed). Well, this Friday we bring you Baked Apples Part III iPod edition.

Here’s the gist of the story as it was told to me: This guy was at a cookout where there was a bon fire. Anyway, it got dark and some of the people that were there started going around and scaring each other, playing “tag” in the dark, etc. Well, this guy was listening to his iPod around the fire, walking around or whatever, and someone came up from behind him and scared him. His normally firm grip on the iPod was gone. He fumbled for it, scrambling to catch it, but couldn’t. Down it fell into part of the fire. Quickly he kicked it out with his shoe, but not before the damage was done.

For the whole story (spoiler: it still works) and more pictures check out
Aaron Steele’s Blog. Warning: It’s not for the faint of heart.

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O'Grady's PocketPC Software Picks

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Date: Thursday, October 7th, 2004, 09:40
Category: Archive

HP iPAQ h6315Readers of these pages are familiar with my recent move to a Windows Mobile phone (an HP iPAQ h6315, read: first look, accessories). I moved to the “dark side” because the h6315 features an unbeatable feature set: GSM/GPRS, WiFi and Bluetooth and an included T-Mobile hotspot account that works at over 4600 locations around the U.S. Today I’d like to mention some of the indispensable software that I’ve acquired since moving to this new phone and the Windows Mobile platform.
O'Grady's PowerPickMark/Space Inc.’s Missing Sync for Pocket PC (US$40) was the deciding factor that made me move to the h6315 mobile phone and the PPC platform. Missing Sync for PPC syncs better with my PowerBook that Apple’s own iSync did with my Sony Ericsson T630 and has more features: WiFi sync, photos, MP3s, mountable on the desktop, etc. Missing Sync for Pocket PC is an O’Grady’s PowerPick for 2004.
Pocket Informant 5 (US$30) is the number one Personal Information Manager (PIM) for PocketPC a reason. It simply trounces the features available in the included Contacts, Calendar and Tasks applications. Features include contact pictures, fully customizable color schemes, mini-text month views, zoomable month views, task view extreme. Excellent all around.
GarishKernels’ Egress is an RSS reader that can display your favorite RSS feeds directly on your PocketPC. It also includes a plug-in that rotates through the feed headlines on your Today screen. Egress is also an O’Grady’s PowerPick for 2004.
WiFiFoFum is an excellent WiFi access point locator/scanner with a cool real-time visual display. Unfortunately MiniStumbler 0.4.0 doesn’t work with the h6315.
Sunnysoft Backup Manager 3.0 (US$15) allows you to do things that the built-in iPAQ Backup application can’t, including scheduled backups and backups that trigger when your battery falls below a defined percentage. Backing up the h6315 regularly (and charging it nightly) is crucial as it is easy to accidentally run the battery all the way down which completely wipes out all your data.
Valkyrie Software‘s Screen Capture Utility (US$3) takes only 5k of storage space on your device and can be mapped to any key on your PDA. Their Space Reclaimer (US$7) is useful for cleaning up all the junk (obsolete files and folders, dead registry keys, application manager files) that Windows leaves behind and can be set to run after a soft reboot (which is at least once per day.)
PocketTV is a free, full-featured MPEG player that can play any standard MPEG-1 video file (.mpg or .mpeg) and can even stream MPEG video files using standard internet protocols such as http.
Pocket Innovation’s System Monitor is a free Today screen plug-in that displays essential system properties such as available battery power, program memory, storage memory and storage card space.
PocketWeather is a free Today screen plug-in that displays the current temperature, air pressure, windspeed and the five day forecast for up to six different forecast locations. It also features user-configurable radar and satellite images.
Derelict Software’s Storm Chaser (US$15) provides live access to the National Weather Service’s Doppler Radar maps. It provides a national site map and composite radar view for 112 radar sites wireless or synchronized. This was an invaluable tool for tracking the four hurricanes that ravaged Florida recently.
T-Mobile has released a firmware update (XIP version 4.20.14133.2) for the iPAQ h6315 that addresses issues sending e-mails with attachments and large files over GPRS using Pocket Inbox. T-Mo has posted instructions for checking your software version.
Lacking is an application to track the fuel consumption and miles per gallon of your vehicle, but I’ve gotten around this by using a Pocket Excel spreadsheet.
One last thing I want to discuss is the cost of PocketPC/Windows Mobile applications. Maybe I have been out of the PDA scene for too long but I remember when all PDA software was less than US$10 – much less. Today’s applications are US$15-30 and higher! Sure there are plenty that cost less than that, but the prices keep getting higher and higher and I can’t help but think that many of these developers are pricing themselves right out of the market.
To that end, I recommend looking for freeware alternatives before dropping US$20-30 on an PocketPC application. Some of the best sites are FreewarePPC.com and PocketPCFreeware.com
Do you use a PocketPC? What are your favorite apps and how much did you pay?

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I Want my Black Translucent Keyboard Back!

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Date: Wednesday, October 6th, 2004, 22:33
Category: Archive

Have you ever wished to get some of the nicest features of the Titanium PowerBook in the new Aluminium model? I want my translucent black keyboard back. Read more…

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How to Podcast

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Date: Wednesday, October 6th, 2004, 12:25
Category: Archive

Engadget shows how to get Podcasts on your iPod and for the DIY Radio enthusiast, how to make your own Podcasts using mostly free tools. What’s a Podcast? To put it simply, a Podcast is an audio file, a MP3, most likely, in talk show format, along with a way to subscribe to the show and have it automatically delivered to your iPod or other music device.

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